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POAGS Uses RFID to Manage Ore Deliveries

Australia's largest bulk and general stevedoring company is utilizing active tags and readers to identify ore-hauling trucks, and to direct their drivers to the appropriate hoppers.
By Dave Friedlos
Jan 16, 2012POAGS, Australia's largest bulk and general stevedoring firm, has turned to radio frequency identification to manage hundreds of heavy vehicles daily at its remote Utah Point Bulk Facility, at the Port Hedland port, in Western Australia.

Utah Point serves the booming mining industry in Western Australia's Pilbara region, providing shipping services to small and expanding mining companies. The facility readies up to 24 metric tons for shipping per annum—primarily comprising iron ore and manganese—and manages approximately 370 heavy vehicles daily. According to POAGS, a heavy vehicle arrives at its Utah Point site every four-and-a-half minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At the Utah Point Bulk Facility, POAGS uses Identec Solutions' tags and readers to identify trucks, and to direct drivers to the appropriate hoppers for receiving ore shipments.

With so many heavy vehicles arriving at, and moving throughout the Utah Point site, says Ray Connell, POAGS' general manager of information technology, it was vital that the management of their movements be precise, reliable and safe, which is where RFID comes in.

"The high volume of heavy traffic provided a number of significant challenges," Connell says. "Firstly, we had to ensure the efficient flow of heavy-vehicle traffic to the allocated stockpiles, and ensure availability of loading equipment to avoid delays and queues. Secondly, we he had to ensure accurate tipping of the product to the correct stockpile to prevent contamination. Thirdly, we wanted to automate the operation to safely manage it with acceptable staffing levels and deliver a high level of visibility of all activities."

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